Guitarist, composer and musical dadaism afficionado Cameron Pikó, who for his musical pursuits has taken on the moniker of Montresor, is set to release his 3rd album. Following his 2011 debut album, Daybreak, and his 2015 sophomore release Entelechy, the new album Autopoiesis is a drastic stylistic, however not substantive departure.

An obvious and lifelong progressive and experimental devotee, Pikó’s first album was an all-musical love letter to prog rock which brought past to present with he punishing guitar licks of the virtuosos of the 80s, the progressive sensibilities and time signatures of King Crimson and Jethro Tull and the melodic intensity of more recent guitar bands like Ratatat or The Sword. Very little of the powerful rock ire of Entelechy remains on Autopoiesis, but there’s still a lot of Montresor there, rest assured.

‘The first album in 9 years was a long time in the making, with some compositions dating back to 2018’s February Album Writing Month challenge. ‘Autopoiesis’ is an extended labor of love…paying tribute to a lesser-known subgenre of progressive music with a fascinating history, the short-lived Rock in Opposition (RIO) movement of the late 70s. Influenced by RIO bands such as Henry Cow and Univers Zero, the music fuses technical instrumental progressive rock with classical instrumentation.’

In parts of Entelechy such as “Belewga Whale” and “Funkminster Bullerene,” Pikó‘s appreciation for the progenitor of prog rock, jazz fusion, can be seen peeking through, so while on first listen, Autopoiesis seems wildly different from its predecessor, all the same compositional elements are still there, just applied differently. Autopoiesis is much more Miles Davis meets Frank Zappa than Robert Fripp meets Dave Sabo, but the writing, the syncopation and the joy in experimental time signatures still remains.

the music fuses technical instrumental progressive rock with classical instrumentation: clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, piano, harpsichord and marimba alongside guitars, bass and drums. (I) navigate oddly timed rhythms, polymeters and bitonality thanks to a host of skilled musicians (on the album)

The wild ride that is Autopoiesis is clearly something the Australian musician is passionate about, and anyone following his journalistic writings on the subject of progressive music will know he has a diverse taste. Despite the surprising turn this album took, it should be no surprise that he wants to take Montresor in as many different directions as possible. That said, it will certainly surprise fans.

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